‘NI changes could create 7,500 jobs in region’

MORE than 7,500 jobs could be created in Yorkshire if manufacturers were given a temporary reduction in employers’ National Insurance contributions when they take on new workers, it was claimed today.

Terry Jones, partner and head of BDO in Yorkshire

The claim is made by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, which is calling on political parties to show their support for manufacturers in the run-up to May’s General Election.

The BDO analysis found that 7,597 new jobs could be created in Yorkshire during the course of the next parliament, if employers’ National Insurance was temporarily reduced for manufacturers.

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The policy recommendation forms part of the BDO Mid-Market Manifesto, which lobbies for support for medium-sized businesses. Medium-sized manufacturers alone would create a third (2,696) of these new jobs if the policy was taken up by the Government, according to BDO.

Terry Jones, the partner and head of BDO in Yorkshire, said: “Manufacturing is a vital sector for the region and the UK as a whole, and it is the medium-sized businesses that provide us with the biggest untapped potential in both domestic and international markets.”

BDO’s research indicates that in Yorkshire, medium-sized manufacturers already employ more than 192,000 people, and generate £29.2bn in revenues.

BDO argues that a temporary cut in employers’ National Insurance for the manufacturing sector over the next four years would support the Government’s target of doubling exports by 2020.

In the Autumn Statement at the beginning of December, the Chancellor George Osborne announced the lifting of National Insurance for employers taking on apprentices under the age of 25.

In his statement, Mr Osborne said: “Since 2010, almost two million people have taken up an apprenticeship. The Prime Minister has set this country an ambition of three million apprentices in the next Parliament. So we back the businesses who employ apprentices, especially young apprentices under the age of 25.”

Mr Jones added: “The Chancellor has already shown a willingness to use targeted national insurance reliefs as a way of stimulating employment. The apprentices move was a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough.”